Posts tagged as:

blood donor recruiting

This blog post comes to us from Team Captain Cesar Vanderpool. Cesar is a master at being able to level with donors and retain them by using active listening skills and showing empathy in his calls. Here are some tips from him on the importance of showing empathy to donors who might have not had the best experience donating.

“I can’t donate blood. Last time I did, they missed my vein, and I got a black-and-blue spot.”

This is a common response that Conversational Marketing™ Experts (CMEs) face when trying to recruit a blood donor. At this point, it is up to the CME to change the donor’s perspective on donating blood. Donors who have a bad experience are the ones who need the most conversational care. It is very important to be apologetic and empathetic toward these donors. Being apologetic lets the donor know that we actually do care about their experience beyond scheduling an appointment to donate with us. If someone has a bad experience and it goes unnoticed it basically shows the donor that we only care about their blood and not their well-being.

Being empathetic lets the donor know that you care. The first way to show these things is not only apologize, but also to listen and engage yourself with that donor. You should always ask questions and listen to the donor’s full experience. You almost want to ask enough questions so that the donor paints a picture of the experience for you to visualize in your head. This makes you more conversational, and it makes it easier to relate to the donor. Simply having the conversation lets the donor know that their opinions do matter to us. Relating to them makes them feel more comfortable that maybe they aren’t the only one who has ever had a bad experience. By being apologetic and empathetic, it makes the final stage fall right into place. This is the step of actually retaining the donor.

The importance of showing empathy: retaining the donor

If you don’t properly do these things, it could cause the donor to not want to donate with us again. During the retaining process it’s important to let the donor know that we do have trained professionals on our staff, and mistakes like this do happen, but it is not typically a recurring issue. No one would want to donate if they felt that they would have a bad experience every time. One way to help lighten the mood for a donor is to tell them they should have this same conversation with the phlebotomist who is taking their blood during their next donation. Explaining these types of things with the phlebotomist will let them know that they have to take extra care of you, because they know that you are worried about a recurrence.

Once you’ve gotten the donor comfortable with the notion that we do care, their opinions are valued, and we want to make things as comfortable for them as possible, go into the importance of donating. Throwing facts at the donor (such as each donation can save up to 3 lives or that their platelets only have a shelf life of five days) makes the donor feel important. Show the donor that despite them having a bad experience the good outshines the bad. There are lives being saved. Even throwing in fun facts (like the blood is going to your local hospital so you actually are helping in your community) makes them think that they are doing more than donating; they are saving lives.

All in all, these are the more difficult donors to retain. By showing them (or in our case, telling them) the significant value and the importance of what they do, blood donors will feel better about the experience and, ultimately, keep them donating.

Saving lives is the name of the game!

Let's talk... results

{ 0 comments }

The LAMA technique isn’t just a technique for blood donor recruitment; it can be applied to almost all telemarketing or tele-recruitment campaigns.

Here is a quick refresher on situations that an Incept Conversational Marketing™ Expert (CME) will commonly encounter when recruiting blood donors to donate.

“I am just too busy.”

Blood Donor: I understand that donating blood is a good thing; I just don’t know what day I’d be available. I’m not even in front of my calendar at the moment. I just can’t commit to a date right now.

Conversational Marketing™ Expert (CME):

Listen/Acknowledge – I can totally relate, and I understand that you may not know your schedule at this point. We definitely can use your help still and are able to work around your schedule.

Make  A Statement - We can actually get you set up a few weeks out from now, and we will make sure we give you a reminder call back the day before to check if it still works out with you.

Ask A Question – With that in mind, I did have weekends and weekdays available two and three weeks out from now. Which one would be better for you to donate on?

“I only donate at work.”

Blood Donor: I prefer to only donate at work when it is convenient for me.

Conversational Marketing™ Expert (CME):

Listen/Acknowledge – That is great that you still find time to donate. Mobile blood drives at our donor’s employers are how many folks are able to donate blood still.

Make A Statement – We actually are able to check our drive list to see if your employer is having a blood drive, and we are able to give you the first choice of times! You can always change your time with us or with your drive’s coordinator if you find you need to adjust your schedule.

Ask A Question – Based upon your donor history, we are actually coming back out to your company next month. Would a morning or afternoon time work best for you?

“I had a bad experience last time.”

Blood Donor: Last time that I donated, I had a bad experience, because they couldn’t find a vein and had to poke around for one. I think I’m going to wait a little while to donate again.

Conversational Marketing™ Expert (CME):

Listen/Acknowledge – I’m sorry to hear that. We appreciate the fact you came in to donate, and we apologize for any rough experiences.

Make A Statement – We really still could use the help, even with just a whole blood donation simply based upon your blood type. We want you to feel comfortable as well, so next time when you go in, feel free to request that you be helped by the most experienced phlebotomist, and they will see that happens for you. Drinking a bottle of water about an hour before you come in can help you avoid these situations too. To give you time to prepare, we can actually set you up a week or two out from now, and we will call you a day before to remind you and check with you.

Ask A Question – Would a Saturday a few weeks out work best for you, or are you more of a weekday kind of person?

Stay tuned for more LAMA refreshers!

Image Credit: http://tx.english-ch.com/

Let's talk... results

{ 0 comments }

Did you know that newborn babies have the power to save and impact lives with just the blood that comes from their umbilical cords?

That is because the cord blood that remains from the placenta and the tissue that make up the umbilical cord is actually filled with lifesaving stem cells that have been scientifically proven to help treat many malicious diseases. There are actually two different types of stem cells that can be collected: cord blood stem cells and cord tissue stem cells.

The amazing thing about stem cells is their ability to help heal and treat diseases that humans otherwise have had a hard time dealing with. Stem cells can help people with leukemia, inherited immune disorders, and even problems with cardiovascular muscle tissue. Some stem cells act as the repairmen of our bodies with their ability to consistently reproduce without limit, for the most part. Other stem cells are activated under certain conditions to repair specific organs. Scientists still have a long way to go fully understanding how regenerative therapy can work, but they hope to be able to continue to make advances through stem cell research.

How does cord blood banking work?

The blood from a newborn’s umbilical cord is filled with all of the same components of whole blood but is extremely rich in stem cells that can help treat people who have diseases of the blood and cardiovascular problems. Essentially, cord blood banking works the same way as a normal blood donation, in terms of collection. A nurse will stick the umbilical cord (after it has been removed) with a needle that is connected to a collection bag. The blood will then flow into the collection bag and usually amount to somewhere around 70-80 mL of cord blood.

While this might not seem like a ton of blood in comparison to a normal adult’s 500 mL (whole) blood donation, keep in mind that the cord blood donation is rich in stem cells. After the blood has been collected, it is then frozen and kept in storage at a cord blood bank awaiting its future use.

Why the controversy surrounding stem cells?

Why do people have a problem with something that can be so useful? There is no harm in collecting stem cells for either baby or mom, there is a ton of scientific research that backs the positive medical claims behind its uses, and there are still many more illnesses that cord blood could help treat with even further research. So why are there people who are against it?

The medical community and public are usually in agreement that cord blood banking (where the blood is available for general public use) is acceptable and beneficial. Controversy arises when the subject lands on taking stem cells from embryos, which isn’t how cord blood banking is done. Many people feel that it is ethically wrong to destroy an embryo in order to harvest the stem cells from them. That is a big reason why you hear misunderstandings about the relationship between cord blood and stem cells. Generally, people are confused about how cord blood is taken until they look into it.

With all this being said, have any of you ever donated your baby’s cord blood? What do you think about the practice of cord blood banking?

Image Credit: http://www5.ha.org.hk/

Let's talk... results

{ 0 comments }

Not everyone might be best suited for just the regular (homologous) blood donation of a pint of whole blood. In fact, depending on your health and other characteristics about yourself, you might be able to save lives in a more specific way with an apheresis-style blood donation.

A phlebotomist monitors platelet donations.

Part of my job as a Conversational Marketing™ Expert (CME) at Incept is to not only recruit blood donors to donate whole blood, but donate red cells, platelets, and plasma too. Many of the people I talk to who have donated whole blood have never tried donating one of those specific components, so they might not be as familiar with the process. With that in mind, I wanted to provide other blood donor recruitment professionals out there with a small list of comparisons I like to make to whole blood, as well as other benefits of donating an apheresis donation.

It really isn’t too much different from a whole blood donation…

  • You are helping out your blood center with specific blood type-based needs when you make an apheresis donation.
  • If you are donating red cells (commonly known as donating “double reds”),  you donate less often but can impact more people than just a single whole blood donation.
  • If you are donating platelets, you are helping the blood center receive an immediate and full donation. They would otherwise have to wait on approximately eight whole blood donations to have enough platelets to centrifuge to make up just one full platelet donation.
  • You donate less often with a red cell donation – once every 112 days – as opposed to once every 56 days with a whole blood donation.
  • You can donate more often, if you so choose, when you donate platelets. While platelets can be donated safely once every seven days, most medical professionals will suggest that people try to limit platelet donations to no more than 26 times per year, but it is that safe to do it if you qualify!
  • When you donate red cells, you are specifically helping out folks who are undergoing surgeries and everyday trauma situations.
  • When you donate platelets, you help out folks with weakened immune systems, as well as cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
  • You typically feel much more hydrated when you leave, as they give your body saline during the return process of your other blood components.
  • You actually get a smaller needle, so, believe it or not, it might be more comfortable to donate!

Once again, these are here for the reference of other people in the blood donor recruitment industry. Feel free to use these in your efforts to educate and encourage others to donate.

Many people are willing to listen to the reasons you are asking them to do a specific type of blood donation, but it is up to you to convey to them the importance of their blood type and where their donation is going.

Example:

You are an O+ blood donor, so that actually makes you a great candidate for platelets! Since O+ tends to be the most common blood type, we do use it frequently as well. With platelets having a shelf life of only five days, on top of that, we could really use your help, since many folks don’t donate enough as it is. These platelets help people who don’t have strong immune systems and many people in the local area undergoing chemotherapy to battle their cancers.

The above example is just one way to explain things to a donor who you are trying to convert. Remember to make them feel good about donating their specific type of blood and component to make it a bigger impact on them.

Photo Credit: http://www.bloodcenter.org/

Let's talk... results

{ 0 comments }

With it being National Blood Donor Month all of January, we really wanted to focus on more of what we do at Incept: blood donor recruitment using telerecruitment methods. Conversational Marketing™ Experts (CMEs) have thousands upon thousands of conversations each week with current donors, lapsed donors, prospective first-time donors, as well as donors who would be good candidates to convert to apheresis donors who ultimately donate red cells, platelets, or plasma depending on their local center’s needs.

Whichever type of recruitment you are doing, whether it be for whole blood, a double red cell donation, platelets or plasma, one thing I have found out to be repeatedly true and useful is to really convey to the blood donor just what their blood is being used for. The challenge of blood donor recruitment is the fact that we aren’t selling anything. We are asking someone to give up their own personal time and part of themselves. It is up to us to upsell the fact to blood donors that they are indeed saving people’s lives with each and every blood donation they make. This is an incredibly enduring and tireless effort that we must continue to make.

Most people never think of what would happen if there were no blood donations. How would there be more cancer survivors without the platelets of blood donors? How much harder would burn victims’ treatments be if not for the generous gift of plasma from a blood donor? How would a car accident victim make it through an emergency surgery without the multiple donations of red cells by generous blood donors weeks before? What if the small percentage of Americans who take it upon themselves to be lifesavers just quit donating blood? How much do our blood centers have to beg and plead for us to understand that it literally takes thousands and thousands of people donating to keep a healthy blood supply in America, a place where 41,000 blood donation units are needed every single day.

One of my favorite ways to thank a donor is to tell them this: “We want to say thank you for donating blood. You really are helping us save lives. While your body will replenish the fluid we take, you will not be able to get back the hour you spend donating, so, if anything, we recognize that and appreciate you joining us to give.” That is the truth. My body will make back whatever is taken from me when I donate blood, but no matter how much money I pay nor how much I wish or hope, I will never get back the time I spend donating blood in this life. Am I okay with that?

You bet.

Express gratitude to your blood donors for the time they take out of their lives to give.

Image Credit: http://kanelart.com

Let's talk... results

{ 0 comments }

Incept is in the blood business, as well as the people business. No, we aren’t vampires, but you’d be amazed at how many times we have heard that one!

You might already know that Incept is an industry leader in blood donor recruitment through the method of telerecruitment. We call for blood centers in every region of America and take pride in knowing that our conversations are literally saving lives. The conversations that an Incept Conversational Marketing™ Expert (CME) has with the blood donors they speak with are essentially the spark that ignites a blood donor to give, especially those who might not have donated in awhile or have never even thought about donating blood.

January is a month that is nationally recognized in America as National Blood Donor Month. Despite the acknowledgement, the act of donating blood in America isn’t anywhere near as prevalent as it should be – even though the need for blood is always shockingly apparent.

Below are some statistics from the American Red Cross on how blood is used in the United States.

Facts About Blood Needs (courtesy of the American Red Cross)

  • Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.
  • More than 41,000 blood donations are needed every day.
  • A total of 30 million blood components are transfused each year in the U.S.
  • The average red blood cell transfusion is approximately 3 pints.
  • The blood type most often requested by hospitals is Type O.
  • The blood used in an emergency is already on the shelves before the event occurs.
  • Sickle cell disease affects more than 70,000 people in the U.S. About 1,000 babies are born with the disease each year. Sickle cell patients can require frequent blood transfusions throughout their lives.
  • More than 1.6 million people were diagnosed with cancer last year. Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment.
  • A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of bloods.

Sadly, even though there is an evident need for blood and blood donors, there is another shocking statistic about the general population of folks in America that is ultimately a reflection of the way we look at donating blood:

  • Although an estimated 38% of the U.S. population is eligible to donate, less than 10% actually do each year.

So now that you can see the numbers and needs for the blood that is received from blood donors, you might begin to think in terms of volume. It takes an extremely large amount of generous people to step up and be blood donors every day. The need for blood never takes a break, vacation, or holiday, and that is another reason why Incept’s offices recruit blood donors from 9:00 AM to 11:45 PM.

We know how badly blood centers need the help. We understand the powerful healing that even one blood donation can have on a person’s life. We literally take it upon ourselves to not only be lifesavers but also to encourage others to continue saving the lives of others.

That is what a blood donor is: a silent hero. An everyday hero that cannot be recognized just by their mere outward appearance. It is funny, because in America blood donors see the act of donating blood as choice or as something charitable that they don’t have to do. In other countries around the world, donating blood is seen as more of a social obligation rather than an individual act.

If you haven’t donated blood, what is stopping you? Why not start the new year off by saving three lives with one donation?

Let's talk... results

{ 0 comments }

Living in a period of such advanced medical and technological ingenuity can be exciting.

We have found out that we have the ability to develop microchips that can help our brains move and interact with prosthetic limbs. We have unlocked (and are still learning) the skill of coding digital data into DNA storage. We have even discovered that dogs are able to accurately sense cancer in human beings!

When it comes to the topic of cancer, it is a rather sensitive subject simply due to the reason that many people know or have even been personally affected by this dreadful disease. Cancer is such a prevalent disease that we even have a specific “cancer code” to help Conversational Marketing™ Experts (CMEs) who are talking with blood donors that can help better categorize a donor who might be unable to donate. These situations happen more often than not when we speak with cancer survivors who might think that just because they have had the disease that they will be deferred from donating blood for life. Let’s talk about reasons why you would or wouldn’t be able to donate blood as a cancer survivor.

“You mean I can still donate blood?”

Many folks who have survived their bouts with this disease are unsure about whether or not they can donate. Keep in mind that cancer is the cause of death in almost one in four Americans. The most common cases of cancer in men are lung cancer along with prostate cancer. Women often deal with having higher cases of lung and breast cancer.

Most people who have survived cancer understand the grueling healing process and therapy that one must undergo to rid themselves of cancer. Chemotherapy can destroy the cancerous cells in a patient, but it also harms some healthy cells. There are times when surgeries to remove tumors can serve as another daunting reality of dealing with such a disease.

Most cancer survivors are completely aware of the need for blood and blood components having been direct recipients themselves. This makes them naturally inclined to want to help others, but sometimes they can need a little information to make the best decision for themselves.

The information below was provided by the American Cancer Society.

You cannot donate blood for other people if:

  • You are being treated for cancer
  • Your cancer is spreading or has come back
  • You have had leukemia or lymphoma as an adult
  • You have ever had Kaposi’s sarcoma

Blood collection centers may have slightly different standards for allowing cancer survivors to donate. For example, the American Red Cross allows most people who have had cancer to donate if the cancer was treated at least 1-5 years ago and the cancer has not come back. (The time can vary at different blood centers.) Furthermore, donors whose cancers have not spread and required no further treatment besides surgery to remove the cancer have little chance of cancer cells getting into the bloodstream. These low-risk donors may need to wait only until they’ve healed from their surgeries and feel well again to donate blood.

Are you a cancer survivor yourself? Did you need blood components while being treated?

Image Credit: http://news.vanderbilt.edu/

Let's talk... results

{ 0 comments }

We’ve all been there.

It is the middle of the night, and your stomach sounds like it is at the end of a 7/11 Slurpee as it guzzles down whatever is left inside. You only have a quarter-tank of gas and are in the middle of a King of the Hill binge session on Netflix. Reluctantly, yet instinctively your hand goes to the backside of your jeans where you keep your wallet, your cell phone comes out, and before you know it you have an ETA of about twenty-five minutes until your friendly neighborhood pizza guy stops by. The convenience of something coming to you instead of you going to that special something can influence someone’s choices.

When it comes to donating blood, it is already hard enough for most blood banks to meet their current needs on an everyday basis. When a blood donor donates at a specific fixed-site location, such as a neighborhood donor center, it can be of greater convenience for the blood center operating that donor center, but mobile blood drives are what can also help keep a donor base alive.

In my experience as a Conversational Marketing™ Expert (CME), sometimes you have situations where people definitely want to donate and are willing to do so, but the unfortunate long distances they would have to travel to make a donation at a blood center can be off-putting. One thing you really have to think about when recruiting a blood donor is the ease of the appointment? Gas and other forms of travel typically aren’t cheap or free either.

Many blood centers have recognized the need for working in conjunction with local businesses to provide an extremely easy and efficient way to donate without having to leave work. Some employers even offer vacation time or paid time off as incentives for donating blood. My past four blood donations have been when Incept holds blood drives purely due to the fact that I work a second-shift schedule. If it wasn’t for the mobile donor coach (or blood bus) that comes out to the company, I wouldn’t be able to donate as frequently.

Incept is actually holding our final blood drive for the year on December 19th. The reason I even bring up the subject of mobile blood drives is due to the fact that if there wasn’t such a need for blood donors in general, the costs of operating a mobile bus would be unjustified. It truly shows you the great need for blood donors, as many blood centers are willing to come to you.

If  your employer or community is holding a mobile blood drive, why not make an effort to donate somewhere that offers convenience?

Image Credit: http://www.milliganstampede.com/

Let's talk... results

{ 0 comments }

This blog comes to us from veteran Conversational Marekting Expert (CME) Jeff Wein.

As a Conversational Marketing™ Expert (CME) here at Incept, something you are undoubtedly familiar with is a blood donation.

One of the main divisions of our company focuses on the recruitment and relationship management of donors for many different community blood centers across the U.S. We know that donors come in all forms and from all walks of life. While each individual is different so is their blood type. The reasons for which that individual actually does donate blood in their community can vary too. The greater majority of individuals donating – that is, the 10% actually providing the blood supply of the 38% eligible – are doing so because they have personally had to receive blood or have had a family member close to them that required a blood product of some kind.

The most common form of donor is the autologous donor, better known as the whole blood donor. This is a volunteer that comes in and donates a standard one-pint donation of “whole blood”, which is blood like you and I know it – the red stuff oozing from cuts and other wounds. This is where an individual finds themselves with a quicker donation process, where they stop by a donor center or blood bus nearest them and roll up a sleeve. Once their bag of blood is collected, it will be set on ice before being sent off to a laboratory for testing. During this stage, the blood will be separated into the three major blood components (platelets, plasma, and red cells) and then shipped to emergency rooms and hospitals nationwide to be used as needed.

Oftentimes a bit more overlooked are the apheresis donors. They come and help with specific donation types like platelets, plasma, or red cells, which are able to fulfill specific orders and help extend a blood center’s supply.

There are many different motivators for donating single components. Donors looking to save time and come by the center less often can double their impact while helping with a red cell donation. This donation can only be made every 16 weeks, which is about half as often as a traditional whole blood donation.

Don’t forget that no matter what type of donation you end up choosing to do, you may always be asked to do something different or even told that another donation type may be more beneficial depending on need or blood type. So next time you donate, ask your local center if there is any way that you can maximize your impact by making a component contribution.

Image Credit: http://static.guim.co.uk/

Let's talk... results

{ 0 comments }

In this day and age, we have so many pills, prescriptions, and medications thrown at us that it can be overwhelming and in many cases confusing to understand what it is that we are actually taking. When it comes to health, if you have your health, you have everything.

The same can easily be said about the opposite of that. The biggest problems for blood banks nowadays are the declining base of donors they require to come and donate blood every single day. A problem associated with that is the fact that many eligible blood donors who are taking medications either daily or as the doctor recommends actually think that they can’t continue to save lives, simply due to that.

The fact of the matter, however, is that most medications will not initially disqualify a potential blood donor from donating. The reason why the medication was prescribed is the most important thing.

Our friends at New York Blood Center put together the facts and medication table below. This can be used as a general reference.

Temporary Reasons

Condition Length of time before you can give blood
Not feeling well for any reason until symptoms are over
Cold, sore throat, respiratory infection, flu until 3 days after symptoms are over
Travel to an area of the world where malaria(292.0 KB) is a problem 12 months after return
Certain cases of heart disease contact us for medical eligibility at 1-800-688-0900
Ears, nose or skin piercing 12 months after procedure unless done under sterile conditions
Tattoos if applied in NJ, no wait: If elsewhere, 12 months after application
Blood transfusion 12 months after receiving blood
Pregnancy, abortion or miscarriage six weeks after end of pregnancy
Surgery, serious injury when healing is complete and feeling well
Syphilis, gonorrhea 12 months after treatment completed
Have had certain forms of cancer contact us regarding medical eligibility 1-800-688-0900
Have had sex with someone who has viral hepatitis 12 months after last incident
You are a woman who had sex with anyone listed in the first five items under Permanent Reasons below 12 months after last incident
You are a man who had sex with anyone listed in the first four items under Permanent Reasons below (Note that the fifth item is a permanent exclusion for men). 12 months after last incident

Medications

Antibiotics (except antibiotics for acne) if taken
for infection
when treatment is complete
Accutane, Absorica, Proscar and Propecia 1 month after taking last dose
Avodart and Jalyn 6 months after taking last dose
Soriatane 3 years after taking last dose
Plavix*, Ticlid* 14 days after taking
Coumadin, Effient* and Brilinta* 7 days after taking

* These anti-platelet agents affect platelet function, so people taking these drugs should not donate platelets for the indicated time. However, they can make whole blood donations. Anyone taking Coumadin must wait 7 days after their last dose in order to be eligible for any type of donation.

Permanent Reasons

Please do not give blood if you:

  • Have used illegal drugs with a needle (even once)

  • Are a hemophiliac

  • Have ever had a positive test for HIV (AIDS virus)

  • Are a man or woman who has had sex for money or drugs any time since 1977

  • Are a man who has had sex with another man since 1977 (even once)

  • Had viral hepatitis or a positive test for viral hepatitis any time after your eleventh birthday

  • Had certain forms of cancer (contact us regarding medical eligibility at 800.688.0900)

  • Had babesiosis or Chagas disease

  • Have taken Tegison for psoriasis

  • Have vCJD restrictions (39.8 KB) and/or a blood relative who had CJD

  • Had a corneal transplant

It should also be noted that diabetics can donate blood as long as they have their blood sugar under control by some method that can include diet, oral medication, or non-bovine insulin.

So now you know that you can donate blood, what is stopping you? Thanks again to the New York Blood Center for having such great reference material available. Since regulations can vary from blood center to blood center, be sure to check with your local center on what types of conditions they defer, just in case.

Photo Credit: http://www.redcross.org/

Let's talk... results

{ 0 comments }